feasting at home: Chocolate Bouchons

November 24, 2012

Chocolate Bouchons

chocolate bouchons

I received a nice surprise in the mail today. A gift. Truthfully, a gift from myself. For several weeks I had been patiently awaiting the arrival of Thomas Keller's new cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, so patiently in fact, I forgot I had ordered it. So when it arrived, it truly was a surprise. I highly recommend this. Surprising yourself. It feels magnificent.

What also feels magnificent, are these little chocolate gems, chewy and melty in your mouth. They remind me of a brownie, but cuter. They are named for their shape, which resembles a cork, or bouchon in French. Not gluten free, not vegan, these are the real deal, full flavored, rich and yet not overly sweet.








The cookbook, like all Keller's previous ones, is a dream, beautifully and richly crafted. It's a place to get lost. And also place to learn. This recipe was surprisingly easy. My next attempt will be his chocolate croissants, a little more involved and challenging. I'll let you know how it turns out.

To become a better at cooking and baking it's important to challenge yourself and to keep practicing. Recipes often require repetition to get them right. There are so many different variables. I have felt the frustration of following a recipe to the letter, and have it fail. It's agonizing. Sometimes, it's just a bad recipe, or a small typo, but most often, it's a slight variation in temperature, measurement, or technique.  It is important to read a recipe all the way through, several times, before embarking. This way you will be prepared for the time commitment involved, and the tools you may need. Often baking requires rising time or resting time and rushing these can result in poor results. Chances are if you really want to perfect something, you will have to practice it many times, and within a time frame that allows you to remember what you did before, so you know what to do differently the next time. This is how you learn. Through Practice.


I have been thinking about the word practice. The dictionary defines it this way: to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient.  Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, The Outliers, writes about practice and number of hours it takes to become an expert at anything. Ten thousand hours. That's the equivalent to 3 hours a day for 10 years. That is a lot of practicing.  To commit that much time to doing anything, must start from love. We must love what we are doing, or else, lets face it, we wont last 10 days, let alone ten years. 





This recipe calls for a bouchon mold. These are available here. These molds are taller and skinnier than a mini cupcake pan...but I am sure a mini cupcake pan would work fine.



The interesting thing about this recipe is that it calls for more coco powder than flour. He recommends using a high quality cocoa. Make sure to sift the cocoa powder to get the clumps out.








Bouchons by Thomas Keller
Makes  a small batch of about 8-10

Ingredients:
5 ounces unsalted room temperature butter
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 T all purpose flour
1/2 C plus 2T unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/4 C plus 2 tsp Eggs (about 1 1/2 large eggs total)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3/4 C plus 1 T granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla paste ( I substituted 1/2 tsp vanilla)
1/2 Cup good quality Chocolate Chips
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Place the flour, sifted cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and whisk.
Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla in a stand mixer and whisk on med- low speed, scrapping down sides and bottom of bowl. With the mixer running, alternating between the two, add the butter and flour in 3 additions. Then mix to combine well, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Remove bowl, fold in chips. Let sit in a cool spot ( not the refrigerator) for 2 hours. Batter can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days, but make sure to let sit at room temp for two hours before filling the molds.

Pre heat oven to 350F

Using a pastry bag or spoon, fill the molds, stopping just below the rims.
Bake for 12 minutes in a convection oven, or 16 minutes ins a standard oven. Remove mold from the oven and let stand 10 minutes(so that they will hold their shape),  then unmold the bouchons  on a cooling rack, turn right side up and let cool completely. Dust tops with powdered sugar.


Tips: He recommends using the convection setting on your oven, valrhona cocoa powder, a Pastry bag and a bouchon mold.



print recipe

Chocolate Bouchon
Chewy and melty, these double chocolate brownies, called "Bouchons" are named because of their cork like shape. Bouchon means Cork in French.
Ingredients
  • 5 oz butter- room temp
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 T flour
  • 1/2 C plus 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C plus 2 tsp ( 1 1/2 large eggs) eggs
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 c plus 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips
  • for dusting powered sugar
Instructions
Place the flour, sifted cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and whisk.
Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla in a stand mixer and whisk on med- low speed, scrapping down sides and bottom of bowl. With the mixer running, alternating between the two, add the butter and flour in 3 additions. Then mix to combine well, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Remove bowl, fold in chips. Let sit in a cool spot ( not the refrigerator) for 2 hours. Batter can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days, but make sure to let sit at room temp for two hours before filling the molds.

Pre heat oven to 350F

Using a pastry bag or spoon, fill the molds, stopping just below the rims.
Bake for 12 minutes in a convection oven, or 16 minutes ins a standard oven. Remove mold from the oven and let stand 10 minutes(so that they will hold their shape), then unmold the bouchons on a cooling rack, turn right side up and let cool completely. Dust tops with powdered sugar.


Tips: He recommends using the convection setting on your oven, valrhona cocoa powder, a Pastry bag and a bouchon mold.

Yield: 8